WOMEN DURING PREGNANCY / POSTPARTUM PERIOD
Pregnancy is a physiological condition. From an osteopathic point of view, this time should be divided into trimesters that relate to changes occurring in the woman’s body:
I – endocrine – at the hormonal level, there occur changes that are necessary for accepting the child and providing it with all the conditions necessary for its development
II – full development of pregnancy – when the child’s body is “only” growing and the changes of woman’s body result from the need to adapt to this development
III – emotional – related to the emotional dilemmas of a woman, associated with the approaching solution and with her uncertainty whether she can cope with the new challenges associated with childcare
In each of these periods, there may appear pain resulting from incomplete synchronization, influencing each other, of changes occurring in the bodies of the mother and the child. As an osteopath, using the delicate possibilities of manual work, I am able to restore the natural freedom of movement of the tissues of the pregnant woman and thus enable the full harmony of changes between the woman’s body and the developing pregnancy.
Indications for osteopathic therapy:
- back pain, pelvic pain (dysfunction of sacroiliac joint and pubic symphysis)
- problems with changing body position
- limb ailments (numbness – sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome; edema; muscle cramps)
- gastrointestinal ailments (reflux, indigestion, constipation)
- complaints related to unfettered breathing (upper chest opening syndrome)
- recurrent vaginal and vulva infections
- osteopathic preparation for childbirth (relaxation of the osteoarticular system and soft tissues)
Problems with lactation
They can appear at various times after delivery, which is associated with changes in the body of a woman and the newborn. E.g. in the first days, when the quality of produced food changes from the so-called colostrum for a more watery fluid, there may be a feeling of reduced filling of the mammary gland (this is a physiological symptom that should not cause anxiety in the nursing mother), or a few weeks after delivery, along with the increase in the nutritional needs of the child, which requires feeding more often, which translates into increased lactation and thus a feeling of filling the breast (regular attachment of the baby to the breast helps and maintains the physiology of processes occurring in the body of a nursing woman).
The proper course of lactation is influenced by hormonal/emotional and mechanical processes. Proper lactation requires both the psychological comfort of the young mother and the patency of the mammary glands in the mammary gland. Regardless of whether hormonal/emotional or mechanical levels in osteopathic therapy are the basis for the disruption of the natural lactation process, all these aspects should be taken into account at the same time.
From an osteopathic point of view, all physiological processes occurring in the human body depend on the freedom of movement of the body spaces involved in these processes (including organs, connective tissue and fluids). Simply put, osteopathy deals with movement that cannot be seen. We are talking about a movement that takes place inside a human body and its freedom is of great importance for the functioning of the whole system – in this particular case for lactation processes.
As an osteopath, with the help of delicate effects on body tissues, I am capable of restoring the harmonious functioning of the human body, and in this particular situation, among others restore the free movement of the chest (and the associated free movement of the fascia), so much dependent on the freedom of movement of the abdominal organs and ultimately improve the flow of fluid in the body and thus affect restoration processes proper lactation.
Therefore, if there are any lactation disorders related to the amount of food, pain and / or swelling of the breast, it is worth consulting with osteopath, as early intervention can prevent the formation of inflammation resulting from stagnation. This will help to prevent swelling from flattening the nipple and thus causing difficulties for the nursing child to grip it.
Certainly it would be appropriate to check at the same time whether the child has any factors that may hinder proper breast sucking (sucking problems).
Speeding up recovery after delivery
After delivery, it takes theoretically 6-8 weeks for a woman to return to her pre-pregnancy state (puerperium). In practice, the outlook varies and depends on many factors. Similarly, just as the time of pregnancy is associated with body changes on many levels (including endocrine, musculoskeletal systems) in connection with the child’s development and birth, so the puerperium is also a time of change. You can describe them as “return changes” which additionally include the pelvic floor/perineum.
One of the most important functions for a woman’s body in the initial period of puerperium is providing food for the offspring. It may be associated with the occurrence of symptoms indicating a disturbance of physiological processes (lactation problems).
Another aspect is the return of the uterus to its pre-pregnancy size. It depends on many factors, including:
- natural feeding – oxytocin secreted at that time accelerates uterine contraction
- the ability of the abdominal organs to move freely – this is very important from an osteopathic point of view since the movement of the uterus takes place in the abdominal space and is dependent on the freedom of movement of the intestines. The osteopath working viscerally (soft tissue therapy of the abdominal cavity) can affect this movement while alleviating any gastrointestinal discomfort (e.g. constipation). Full freedom and naturalness of internal organs movement are also significant for the often occurring at that time ailments associated with lower back pain (acute and chronic back pain)
By taking into account many aspects of the complexity of the human body (women in childbirth) osteopathic therapy can significantly improve the free movement of tissues (especially when there was a break in their continuity – incision of the perineum, cesarean section) and thus accelerate the natural processes of recovery.
Indications for osteopathic therapy during the puerperium:
- problems with lactaction
- mobilization of the scar after cesarean section and/or episiotomy (episiotomy)
- postpartum urinary incontinence
- problems with unconstrained functioning
- accelerating recovery
All issues discussed do not contain a full explanation of the problem and if in doubt, please contact the osteopath by phone.